15 November 2022
By Bryan Smyth
Grants for vacant properties expanded to rural and urban areas in Cork – Colm Burke TD
Grants of up to €50,000 for homeowners of vacant and derelict properties have been extended to both rural areas and cities and will be available under the Croí Conaithe Towns scheme.
Cork North Central TD Colm Burke has today confirmed the scheme, first launched in July to towns and villages, has been expanded so that all areas of the country are within the scope of the scheme.
Deputy Burke said: “This expansion is very welcome news for those in Cork and one which was called for by my Fine Gael colleagues. Grants for property owners are available to apply from local authorities with €30,000 being the maximum offered for properties which have been vacant for over two years, and €50,000 for derelict properties which may be structurally unsound.
“My colleague, Minister Peter Burke, has launched the expanded Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, so that even more vacant and derelict properties in Cork can be brought back into residential use. Furthermore, our existing housing stock can be best utilised to provide more homes for people in Cork.
“The grants can also be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme that covers works of up to €26,750. They are available to individuals and families who will use the property as their primary dwelling and is another measure being employed to support home ownership and provide more homes for our citizens.
“Fine Gael want to use our experience and energy to help people through this difficult time and are taking further action on housing to ensure that people in their twenties and thirties have the chance to own their own home,” said Deputy Burke.
Commenting on the launch, Fine Gael Minister Peter Burke said that the scheme was a much-needed practical measure.
Minister Burke said: “The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant will work alongside other key Fine Gael policies such as Town Centre First and Our Rural Future, helping revitalise our communities while providing more people with the opportunity to own their own home.
“My officials are working with our Local Authorities to ensure they are equipped to administer the scheme, with 29 full time vacant homes officers now installed in the sector who are focused on bringing our vacant stock back into productive use.
“The scheme also promotes sustainability as we know the most efficient home is the one that is already built, limiting emissions from construction, while improving the look of our rural countryside, villages, towns and now cities,” concluded Minister Burke.
Facts and Figures
- The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant will now apply to all eligible vacant properties in cities, towns, villages, and rural areas.
- Properties considered for inclusion must be vacant for two years or more and built before 1993.
- The following categories of works are eligible for grant assistance, subject to a reasonable cost assessment by the local authority and to the limits for specific works as set out in the table below. The works must be approved in advance, following inspection by the local authority of the subject property.
- Demolitions / Strip-out / Site Clearance (including removal of hazardous materials)
- Substructure works (including works to foundations; rising walls; beds / slabs; damp-proofing; underpinning)
- Superstructure works (including works to internal / external walls; chimneys; upper floors; stairs; roof structure; other structural timbers)
- Completions (including works associated with external doors and windows; internal doors and associated frames, architraves and ironmongery; balustrades; skirtings; rooflights; fascias / soffits; rainwater goods)
- Finishes (including finishes to external / internal walls; ceiling finishes; tiling / waterproof finishes to wet areas; roof finishes)
- Services (including plumbing; heating; ventilation; power; lighting; telecommunications; smoke / CO2 detection)
- Fittings (including kitchen units; sanitary /bathroom fittings)
- External Works (necessary external / site works carried out within the curtilage of the site)
- Extension within the ambit of exempt development under planning regulations, as part of a wider refurbishment
- Professional services associated with works (fees / surveys)
- Confirmation of vacancy can be validated and verified by the use of, for example, Utility Bills, which can help determine vacancy periods (e.g., pattern of usage or disconnection) or such other proofs as are available to the satisfaction of the local authority.
- The scheme is exclusively available to individuals or households for which the property will be their principal private residence. It is not available to undertakings and/or developers, etc.
- A Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Better Energy Home Scheme Grant may be available in combination with this grant. Works covered by SEAI Better Energy Homes Scheme will therefore not be covered.
- Proof of both vacancy and ownership will be required to support the grant payment. In terms of ownership, it is a matter for the applicant to confirm ownership with the local authority.
- A local authority may give approval in principle to a grant application where the applicant is able to provide evidence of active negotiations to purchase a property i.e. confirmation of engagement from the estate agent or owner of the property and where the owner provides such evidence as to vacancy as is required under the scheme on behalf of the applicant.
- Applicants may only avail of the grant once in keeping with the requirement that it be their principal private residence.